I have a feature on my own blog that dedicates Sundays strictly to goalies and their masks. (Well, goaltending in general really.) When Rich took a look at this, he challenged me to a top 10 favourites of this season. Of course, I was happy to oblige as I absolutely love the artwork and detail done on these cages. All of these masks are made by Swedish designer Dave Gunnarsson and you can find his work at daveart.com. In no particular order, here are my first 5 of the top 10.
1. Jonathan Bernier, Los Angeles Kings
I absolutely love this old throw back theme on Bernier’s mask for this first one. It brings mask memories of the old but not forgotten gold and purple uniforms. The Los Angeles skyline across the sides add a perfect touch. It’s not too busy; it’s the just the right amount of fanfare. The crowns at the top keep in tact the old logo of yesteryear. A well done work of art.
2. Cristopher Nihlstorp – Dallas Stars
Granted Nihlstrop didn’t get a lot of playing time to show this baby off but this one is a beaut. Although I don’t really know what a Raptor has to do with Dallas or Stars in general but that’s besides the point. The 3D effect gives the look of the Raptor clawing his way through Nihlstorp’s head. You have to love the green too. Hardly any times use that colour anymore. Now that Nihlstorp is signed, this lid should look sharp on the new Stars jerseys.
3. Michal Neuvirth, Washington Capitals
Can’t get any more ‘Murica then this one folks. The “Weagle” is front and center and it is a thing of astonishment. The way it’s painted on the side makes it look like the wing is the ending of the mask, giving it a cut out feel. The checker board part is a tribute to his native Czech Republic as with the Strekov Castle on the right side. So I guess you could call this one Czecherica.
4. Dan Ellis, Carolina Hurricanes
This one is one of my favourite. This mask gives a tribute to all of the fishermen on the Carolina coast who brave the rough seas and continue day in and day out on their work. The Hurricane signal flag up the middle implies our mask fisherman are fighting through rough waters. A great touch for a wonderful team.
5. Seymon Varlamov, Colorado Avalanche
This one tells the heroic tale of Commando Yeti versus Evil Frosty taking place in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. What a brilliant idea! Both are sliding down the mountains in toboggans ready to do battle with each other. I don’t know, but I think I’d put my money on the Commando Yeti. Frosty would eventually melt. *shrugs*
First Honourable Mention:
Be sure to look out for Part 2 this week as I continue my look at the top 10 goalie masks of the 2013 NHL season!
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